Two Things That Can Make Your Cross-Country Move Easier

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Things That Can Make Your Cross-Country Move Easier

Whether you’re relocating to another state for a job opportunity or just looking to start over, an interstate move is a big undertaking. You have to make preparations for your move in two states, something that can quickly become stressful mess if you’re not properly prepared. Here are two tools and services that can alleviate the strain of making a cross-country move. Moving Consultant A moving consultant takes on some or all of the tasks involved with relocating you, your family, and your household. For example, a moving consultant may: Generate estimates for the various costs related to moving (e.g. truck rental, packing supplies) Look for ways to help you save money on the move Research living spaces in the new state Develop packing strategies; schedule and organize packing and unpacking Schedule services such as the moving truck and utility connection Arrange for transport of vehicles and animals The level of services offered by a moving consultant varies. Some offer comprehensive packages that will take care of everything, while others may only handle issues directly related to boxing up and relocating your possessions. The consultant may work for the moving company or may be an independent contractor. Hiring a moving consultant is a good option if you have a family or otherwise are not able to devote time to managing the relocation process. However, the service is not cheap. For example, the average hourly rate that independent moving consultants who focus on helping senior citizens charges $40 to $50 per hour and as high as $150 in some areas. Some moving companies may charge more or less than that for their moving consulting services. Portable Storage Containers Making good use of portable storage containers is another way to ease the strain of moving. How this service works is the moving company delivers the storage container to your home. You fill the container with your belongings at your leisure and secure it. The company then picks up the container and either places it in a storage facility or takes it to your new home where you can unpack the container when you have time. The nice thing about this setup is you can take your time packing since you’re renting the container on a monthly basis. This lets you avoid the mad rush to load everything on the truck in a few hours that often happens on moving day. It can also make it easier to set up your new home just the way you want it without tripping over boxes. If your relocation is temporary, you can opt to store your belongings at the company’s storage facility and have them sent to you to your new home if the move turns out to be permanent. However, one drawback to using portable storage is you have to find a place for it to sit, which may not be possible if you live in a place that doesn’t have parking or restricts the number of spaces you can use. Another issue is the longer your container sits in your driveway or on the street, the more tempting it becomes to opportunistic thieves that may try to steal your things. You can mitigate this by waiting to load valuables like televisions and computers until the last minute. The cost of portable storage...

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Storage Units With Climate Control Features: 3 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency of the Unit

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Storage Units With Climate Control Features: 3 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency of the Unit

If you simply have too much junk lying around in your house that you can’t bear to toss in the trash, consider renting a storage unit. Storing junk or unused items somewhere else can remove clutter from your home, and make it a much more livable place. In fact, almost 1 in every 10 US households have already done so. To protect your items from getting damaged, opt for a storage unit with climate control features, so you can keep the temperature and relative humidity constant. You’ll likely have to pay more for the energy expenses. Since most storage units are not very energy efficient to begin with, here are 3 things you can do to make a difference. Install Weatherstrips at the Gates and Doors The gates and doors of the storage units are most vulnerable to heat loss. Most storage units open via doors similar to garage doors. These doors do not provide a very efficient seal, and there are many gaps where air can leak out from the storage unit—particularly where the door meets the ground. You can easily improve the energy efficiency of the entire unit from 10% to 15% by simply installing weatherstrips at these areas to seal off any gaps that were there earlier. This prevents air from leaking out from the garage door known as heat exchange. There are many different materials that you can choose from. Foam tape weatherstrips are one of the easiest to install, and are also one of the most energy efficient options available. Avoid Units with Windows Although it may seem more attractive to get a unit with windows, it’s more energy efficient if you don’t. Much like doors, windows are an escape route for air. Even with double glazed glass panes, heat exchange is inevitable. Since you really won’t need to be looking out from the unit when using it, avoid units that come with windows. In fact, units that don’t have windows may even be more secure because there is no way for someone from the outside to peer inside to determine whether what you have is worth stealing. Install Insulation onto the Walls and Ceiling To further improve the overall energy efficiency of your storage unit, install insulation onto the walls and the ceiling. You don’t want to make a permanent change to the storage unit, so you should consider getting temporary insulation like a type of foil or pad insulation. You want to be able to simply roll of a sheet of insulation and install it to the walls and ceiling of the unit. Proper insulation will make sure that heat from outside the unit stays outside during the summer and cool air doesn’t leak in during the winter. The goal of the insulation is to form a thermal break. When choosing an appropriate insulation, you want to choose something that will be safe to handle and does not contain any harsh or unsafe chemicals. You don’t want to run the risk of any chemicals leaking onto your personal goods and items being stored within the unit. Improving the energy efficiency of the storage unit will not only reduce your overall energy bills, but will also ensure that the temperature and relative humidity within the unit remains as consistent as possible. This is...

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5 Free Alternatives to Buying Cardboard Moving Boxes

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Free Alternatives to Buying Cardboard Moving Boxes

Moving is expensive—the average intrastate move costs over $1,100 and moving to a new state costs nearly $6,000 on average. There are costs you can’t cut, but one area where you can save money is on moving boxes. Instead of buying moving boxes, explore these five free alternatives. 1. Dresser drawers Whether you ultimately buy moving boxes or not, you should never move an empty dresser. Empty drawers waste valuable space in the moving truck, while filled dressers, in contrast, help to keep your load balanced. If you have empty drawers, fill them with clothing or other relatively lightweight items such as linens. Just be careful when loading filled dressers onto your moving truck. If the dresser is too heavy to lift, use a furniture dolly to move it. Alternatively, take out the drawers, move the frame of the dresser into the truck, and then, move the drawers and place them in the dresser. 2. Towels A towel, of course, looks nothing like a box, but for fragile and oversized art, it can be just that. Instead of investing in special boxes for your framed art, grab a few towels or blankets and some tape. Wrap the padding around the framed art, and secure it thoroughly using packing or duct tape. 3. Plastic Containers Plastic containers are great for long-term storage as they last longer than cardboard boxes. If you have any old plastic containers on hand, definitely plan to use them while moving. Even if you have to buy a few plastic containers, see them as investment – unlike moving boxes which you will likely sell or give away immediately, plastic containers can be used indefinitely. Free plastic containers can be hard but not impossible to find – in addition to plastic storage boxes that people may be willing to give away, consider using old milk crates or recycling bins. If you’re not concerned about the cost of boxes but rather want to avoid cardboard moving boxes for environmental reasons, there are companies that rent out plastic, reusable boxes to people for their moves. 4. Sturdy Garbage Bags While boxes or their near substitutes are ideal for most items, feel free to pack a few soft items in garbage bags. Obviously, you shouldn’t pack books or anything heavy with sharp corners in garbage bags, but stuffed toys, clothing, pillows, blankets, linens and other soft, lightweight items work perfectly in bags. Make sure the bags are high quality so they don’t rip. When you are trying to fill your moving truck as tightly as possible, bags are the perfect solution. Unlike moving boxes, they can be molded and manipulated to fit a range of odd-shaped nooks and crannies. 5. Free Boxes While the above four options are great and be help to lower the number of boxes you will need for your move, they likely won’t provide enough space to hold everything you own. Luckily, you can still avoid buying moving boxes. You just have to be a bit creative about where you get your boxes. There are a range of stores that are willing to give people free moving boxes. Call in advance, and be polite if they don’t have any boxes. Liquor stores and bookstores often have free boxes, and as these boxes hold liquid filled glass...

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How Can You Ensure Your Storage Unit Contents Are Properly Insured?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you need to temporarily store large household items after a cross-country move or want to invest in a storage unit to keep extra holiday decorations or baby gear, your primary concern is likely making sure your items are protected — both physically and financially. However, navigating the insurance maze and investigating storage can seem like an overwhelming process. Read on to learn more about how you should use your storage unit and what you can do to ensure that your items are kept safe and financially secured. What items should you avoid putting in a storage unit? Although these units can be very handy for storing a wide variety of items, not everything is appropriate for (or permitted in) a storage unit. The storage unit contract you’ll sign will contain a number of exclusions — these are items that may even invalidate your storage contract or subject you to a financial penalty if they are discovered. In general, you’ll be prohibited from storing combustible items, ammunition, tires, perishable foods, plants, or certain medical supplies containing legally regulated items. The specific storage unit you select may have additional restrictions, and if you’re ever unsure about an item, you’ll likely want to ask rather than potentially running afoul of your contract. Many storage units do permit you to keep canned food in your unit, but this may not be advised if the storage unit is not kept at a relatively cool temperature year round. You’ll also want to avoid storing any items that might attract potential pests (like mice or cockroaches). How can you insure the items in a storage unit? Most storage unit companies have a general liability insurance policy — however, this won’t cover damage to (or theft of) your personal belongings. The facility’s insurance policy will usually pay only for damage to the outside of your unit or protective measures to provide the same level of security if the building is somehow damaged. To keep your items safe, you’ll want to speak to an insurance agent to determine whether (and how much) your current homeowners or renter’s insurance covers for items stored off-premises. In many cases, your regular homeowners policy may cover personal belongings, wherever they are stored — however, these items may be subject to a much lower coverage limit than items kept in your home. For example, if your homeowners insurance policy covers $50,000 of personal belongings and the coverage limit for off-premises items is 20 percent, only the first $10,000 worth of items kept in your storage unit will be replaced in the event of a fire, flood, theft, or other damaging event. However, you don’t need to limit the value of items you place in the storage unit — simply increase the personal property coverage of your primary homeowners or renter’s policy so that even under the off-premises coverage limit you’re fully insured. To further protect yourself against theft or loss, you may want to keep an inventory of the items you’ve stored, or take photos of high-dollar items. If you’re storing electronics, you may also want to take a photo of the serial or other identifying number to help in the event of an insurance claim. If you find that your primary homeowners or renter’s policy doesn’t cover off-premises items, you can...

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4 Things To Think About When Selecting Packaging Materials

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re moving to a new residence or office, the last thing you want to encounter after all that effort and expense is box after box of broken possessions. No matter how much of a hurry you’re in to pack, or how little you’ve budgeted for the move, you need to make sure you’re using the right kind of packaging for the right situation. Here are four considerations to keep at the top of your mind as you pack. 1. Container Size and Design When choosing boxes for your move, remember that bigger is not necessarily better. It might be tempting to stuff your entire library of books into one oversized package, but someone is going to have to live and carry that package — and if that someone is you, you could be lining yourself up for a hernia. Generally speaking, the heavier the individual items being packed, the smaller the containers should be. At the same time, however, you don’t want to jam delicate items into boxes just large enough to hold them. If you leave insufficient room for padding, you’re almost certain to experience breakage of precious possessions during your move. The design and structure of each container is another factor in successful packing and moving. Cardboard is the most affordable and lightest material commonly for storage boxes, with the corrugated variety offering more strength and durability than single-layered cardboard. If you plan on moving again in the future, choose boxes that can be unfolded and stacked flat. Lids are an important feature if you plan on stacking the boxes on top of each other, or if you’re storing lightweight materials that might fly out during transport. Last but not least, make sure the boxes have handles or hand slots for easy lifting and carrying. 2. Internal Padding The internal padding you use can be as simple or as exotic as you like, as long as it gets the job done safely and efficiently. For the most fragile or easily scratched items, you can use a soft substance such as tissue paper. Newsprint is another safe, cheap (or free), widely available choice for padding and packaging without scratching.  If you don’t mind paying a little more money, you’ll also find a variety of foam or plastic packaging materials to choose from. Here are some examples: Bubble wrap – This flexible material is a good choice for wrapping somewhat delicate items such as electronic components. The hundreds of little air cells provide gentle cushioning to prevent the items from impacting against the box or each other. Bubble wrap also adds a small amount of thermal insulation.   Styrofoam – For simple bulk padding, go for the ubiquitous foam “peanuts” that seem to accompany every large purchase these days. If you resists using non-recyclable or non-biodegradable materials, you’ll be happy to know that you can find a biodegradable version of this material derived from corn starch.  3. External Padding After you’ve gone to such care to use the correct interior wrapping and padding to your move, don’t forget to pad your unboxed possessions’ exteriors as well. If you want to keep large flat items from scratching each other en route, purchase thin sheets of paper padding to place between them. Paper furniture pads should be attached to your furnishings...

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Relocation As A Career Move

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Relocation comes as a standard procedure with many jobs; however, this doesn’t make it any easier. Having to move across the country, or even to an entirely new country, can prove stressful and difficult to manage for many. As such, it’s important you understand the ins and outs if you are required to move, and also how to go about the move itself. Relocating with your Job Many times, particularly if you work for a large multinational company, your employer will want to strengthen other offices and ensure resources are being used efficiently. If your employer wants to relocate you as part of a unilateral reshuffling of resources, then the terms of this move should be stated explicitly in your contract. For example, there may be a clause that states you are expected to move within a 100 mile radius of your current workplace if the needs of the company changes. In such situations, you are at the will of your employer; however, they should give you a fair notice well in advance. During this time, weigh up the pros and cons of relocating to your new place of work. Although you have no legal ground to reject your relocation, most employers understand that big changes in location can be extremely difficult for staff. Particularly if you are settled in your neighbourhood and have a family to support, you may feel that the move isn’t right for your current circumstances.   If you decide not move, but there is a mobility clause in your contract, then you are effectively taking voluntary layoff. In these situations, you should be entitled to the full severance pay that is outlined in your contract. If you do decide to move, great! There are huge advantages of moving within your current company. Obviously, the security of a guaranteed job is paramount; however, there may be other perks such as an increased salary or more benefits. Relocating on Your Own Relocating independently is a bit trickier than relocating with your employer. First and foremost, you have to find a suitable job in a suitable location. Depending on your current role, there may not be suitable positions for you in the cities you’d like to move to, so make sure you’re thorough in your initial research. There are other things to consider also, such as the housing market, local schools and the safety of potential neighborhoods. Monetary concerns are also a common concern, so make sure you factor all potential costs into the equation: Rent/mortgage costs Entertainment Schooling Healthcare Transportation All of the above vary between cities and states, so make sure you spend enough time planning your move before jumping in. Additionally, it’s important to calculate the “strength of your dollar”. Even if your new job results in a big salary increase, it is entirely relative to the cost of living in your new area. Planning Your Move Regardless of whether you’re moving to take a job or moving in anticipation of a fresh start, you’re going to have to move your stuff. For many people, working out the logistics and costs can be a major headache, so consider the tips below to give you a head start: Compare moving companies online – The internet has made it extremely easy to plan your big move,...

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